Toronto Black Womens' Collective


Earlier this year, Freedom School (an initiative of Black Lives Matter), commissioned me to make learning tools for their school again. 

You may recall that they asked me to make five pieces for them last year, and to date, they are my favourite clients EVER. 

As we did last year, we contracted that I would make 4 pieces for X amount of dollars, 1/3 due up front, 1/3 due halfway through, and 1/3 due just before delivery. We discussed what the topics would be for each of the pieces, and that was it. They paid me on time at each delivery date (in fact, the middle one I forgot about, and they sent it to me on their own!); and never bothered me again. BEST CLIENTS EVER. lol

Seriously though, I have been doing a lot of commissions over the last few years, and, without a doubt, this is the very best way for me to work. Too much input from the client dilutes my vision (such as it is); and the end result is the poorer for it. I always think, "If you like my work, and hired me for it, why are you trying to control the product? If you want a different product, hire a different artist.". 

Having worked with them twice now, I think this is how I have to work with all my future clients - and if they don't want to do that, then I guess I won't be working with them. I don't mean to be disrespectful to prior clients; and lord knows I'm happy for the work, but I need to be true to my own vision. It produces a *much* better piece of work.

So, speaking of vision: in this case, with the exception of one of them, the topics were quite difficult, and the muse was not in evidence, even though I thought they were all very interesting. 

I did a lot of research about the Black Womens' Collective, and I even had BSP do some research for me, in case I missed something. We both turned up with the same lists of the accomplishments of the Black Womens' Collective; and though any one of them could be artistically inspiring, how to choose ONE image to show ALL of their accomplishments?

It wasn't until I watched the documentary RISE UP!, about the Black Women's Collective, that I finally realized what it was I wanted to show. 

These women were ordinary women. Mothers, students, young career women, who gathered together in each others homes, talked about ways to make a difference, and then, went out and did it

To me, that was the most amazing ting about the Black Women's Collective; that these young women asked "How can we make a difference?", answered their own question, and carried out their plan. 

And so I chose to show them as they were. A group of young women, sitting in a living room, effecting a plan about how to make the world a better place. 

More, later this week. 


Kit Lang

2 comments:

  1. Just want to give you and your art a big "<3<3<3"!!! :-D

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  2. Wonderful words...so much truth in being who you are as artist/woman..and having the freedom to work with your muse in charge...and finding just the right voice for everything you create...freedom, open energy creating beautiful work...thank you Kit for staying true to yourself and for being such a strong advocate for all artists to do likewise. I so appreciate all that you do, all that your write, all that you show.
    Kristin

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